Insights

The latest research insights and observations from the frontlines of ecosystem building for social change. A one-person think-tank.

Rooted in Purpose

Oct 15, 2020

Having interviewed more than 70 ecosystem builders for social change, I’ve had a few (70+) conversations about what drives them. When asked about their purpose, responses range from a desire to contribute to a world worth living in to creating equal access to opportunity, building community wealth and wellbeing, unlocking human potential and bringing your …

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#1 Put entrepreneurs front and center

Oct 3, 2020

This article belongs to the 7-part series Ecosystem Building 101. The entire series is developed in Fireside Chats with entrepreneurial ecosystem builders around the world. Read #1 Put entrepreneurs front and center. This resource guide is no longer available for download. Sign up for Impact Curator to never miss another resource! As ecosystem builders, we are committed to serving the entrepreneurs …

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No more snoring panels!

Oct 1, 2020

Set a timer. Think back to the last time you listened to an absolutely fantastic, engaging and insightful panel. What was the topic of the conversation? What did you learn? How did you implement what you learned?  This exercise might take a minute. Now I want you to think back to the last three to …

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Moral leadership for systemic change (pt. 3)

Sep 1, 2020

Community Stewardship on a Systemic Level The nature of our ecosystems is not always local, especially when it comes to systemic challenges which – as we have discussed with various Social Venturers – require systemic solutions. What you will find, however, is that people – geographically close or note – remain at the very core …

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Feeders, Keystones & Conveners (pt. 2)

Sep 1, 2020

Leadership in ecosystems  The term leadership is loaded with preconceived ideas about corralling the troops, getting teams fired up, being the charismatic founder of a startup team and so on… Leaders seem surrounded by a magic aura of inspiration and can-do attitude. In ecosystem building, our role is – in fact – not that of …

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No more problem solving! (pt. 1)

Sep 1, 2020

We have a hundred ways of encouraging individual development, but we are semiliterate when it comes to the question of communal development Peter Block, 2012, p. 3 This series shines a light on two essential concepts in our work as ecosystem builders and creators of an alternative future: Community and Leadership. The concept of community …

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Allyship with the New Majority (Allyship pt 3)

Jun 29, 2020

On whatever personal level you connect with the issue of bias and racism – or don’t – the numbers don’t lie.  Here’s a lay of the land: In June 2017, I was sitting in the first row at the Kauffman ESHIP Summit in Kansas City as Melissa Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures took the stage …

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This is YOUR job (Allyship pt. 2)

Jun 29, 2020

“I see you, I love you, and I don’t need you to respond. I just want you to know.” This is what my friend Ace Callwood asked for in his article The Burden of (Finally) Being Seen. In the immediate aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and consequential outbreak of protests across the country …

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Knowing what I know now (Allyship pt. 1)

Jun 29, 2020

In entrepreneurial ecosystem circles, we have talked about the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for several years. In that sense, I consider myself fortunate to have been around empathetic and outspoken changemakers who have always stood up for what’s right even when I was unable to fully comprehend the extent to which it …

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